wet sump solution

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It’s not rocket science. Put in the anti sump check ball. If you start the bike and the red light keeps going blink blinky then turn your shit off. Problem solved. The shut off valve is just plain stupid.
Red light blinking means you're running without oil pressure while you're watching the light blink. Is that what you want to do?
 

elefantrider

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Two years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the NOC International Rally in Austria, at the F1 circuit.
Most of the beautifully -prepared race bikes there had a very small shut- off valve attached to the bottom of the tank, very similiar to or the same as Ludwig's.
But no check ball devices!
 
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gtiller

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@Mwood7800 sorry, but with respect I disagree.

I don’t see how not being able to start your engine because your oil tap is off and the interlock won’t let you, or your horn is wailing loud and proud telling you there is something wrong can be ‘plain stupid’ compared to sitting on your bike with your engine running watching your idiot light flashing at you.

Do you not agree that one is preventative and surely better?


I have sucked on a check valve, and wouldn’t dream of expecting an oil pump designed in the 30s to pull cold oil through it.
But more worrying to me is the fact that when closed, you can easily get the oil on the engine side of these check valves drain back down, leaving fresh air on the other side leading into the pump.
With an airlock like this, it can take some time to pull the oil back through again.
The only way to fix this is to take the oil line off and prime the pump every time you ride - which no one ever does.
In fact, if you are going to do this before every ride, you may as well just drain the sump - it’s easier!


...you’ll be advising that I consider super gluing the crankcase halves together on my aeroplane to stop the oil leak next.
 
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Gtiller your comment shows some understanding of a ball valve, but is uninformed.
One, you only need to prime the oil pipe below the ball valve once. That's how many times hundreds of Velocette owners do it. They only need to glance down to the CLEAR oil pipe to see there is no air in the system.
Ludwig, unless my eyes are deceiving me , you have not got a 3/8 inch diameter ball in your setup.
Yours is not a ball valve , its a on/off tap.
The ball valve is what Velocette use and what RGM sell on their website/ shop.
Also note the above, the oil pipe below the valve should be clear, so you can just glance at it to confirm its OK to start/ run the engine.
Look on the images on the Velo website to see what I mean. I've explained this as clear as I can.
 
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@Mwood7800 sorry, but with respect I disagree.

I don’t see how not being able to start your engine because your oil tap is off and the interlock won’t let you, or your horn is wailing loud and proud telling you there is something wrong can be ‘plain stupid’ compared to sitting on your bike with your engine running watching your idiot light flashing at you.

Do you not agree that one is preventative and surely better?
I totally agree. I fitted a Feked magneto-type valve on my Matchless G11, because no amount of servicing its oil pump will guarantee it will not wet sump. Also, it has no proper oil seal on the crankshaft drive side, so the oil from the flooded crankcases goes into the primary chaincase - ugh!! The Feked valve, wired into the magneto earth, does the job safely, imho.

Closer to home (for this forum) I have just bought a coil ignition type Feked valve for my Mk3 Commando. I am just pondering whether to wire it via a relay into the horn circuit. With twin Fiamm-clones it would certainly wake me up if I had forgotten to turn the oil tap on!

The only problem I have not found a solution for is: what if I forget to turn the oil tap off when I park the bike up for a few weeks????
 
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Well, you could do what we all did back in the day (and I still do). IGNORE it and catogorize "Wet Sumping" as a problem that was invented so somebody can sell a solution! :)

Sorry, I couldn't resist that; I know some folks DO see it as a problem though I have never experienced one.
 

gtiller

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@Bernhard sorry you feel I’m ‘uninformed’
I have been testing my own products that I have bought and have done many, many hours of research.
I had a one way check valve that was fitted by the PO on a bike I bought which I thoroughly tested and blew apart to see how it works - I pulled it off the bike when I found out how bad it was.
I have bought other check valves for testing, including blowing them apart to see what’s inside.
I have bought several oil shut off valves (taps) with electrical cut-off for testing.

So while my writings are admittedly opinion based, they are based on testing not reading.
Damn, I am starting to feel like I’m turning this into a dynodave style curriculum vitae - that’s not my intention here.


The most common one-way check valve I see on bikes is one of these:
7CF065C5-F102-495F-BCEB-F755CBB6D325.jpeg
Typically I don’t see these installed with clear tube.
The ball and spring on these is very strong, and it takes a considerable amount of suck to pull the ball from it’s seat.
This is what was on my bike when I bought it (with no clear tube)


A popular alternative check valve at one point in time is this:
D731DCB1-14B6-408F-8F41-7D27F59CCBBC.jpeg
They have a nice little viewing window, so you can see your oil flowing.
And the spring is much lighter.
However, there have been several reports of the black part and the clear part separating from each other, resulting in the contents of your oil tank pouring over your right boot instead of circulating through your engine.
I bought one of these, but didn’t fit it based on this information.
Based on my own testing, I could certainly see how the stresses on an oil line (particularly a braided one) coupled with a hot engine and hot oil could stress and fatigue this point, resulting in failure. It is not a robust unit.


If your bike is laid up for any amount of time (which is the case of many of the people fitting these) you can easily lose the prime from the oil pump.
The oil will drain out of the pump, and air will get in.
As more air is ingressed, more oil runs out of the pipe and back in to the engine.
After a while, you will end up with no oil sat between the check valve and the oil pump.
I have seen this in my own testing - particularly with the thinner viscosity fully synthetic oils that many of us are using nowadays.


Regarding the semantics around ‘ball valve’

If you google search ball valve, the most common result is this:
805252E1-7344-49A0-B848-6B5F1AF26267.jpeg
They are commonly referred to as ball valve, as the bit in the middle resembles a ball.
When it is open, it is usually the same size as the bore of the valve, so does not pose as a restriction.
This is in comparison to a traditional screw valve with a seat (called a gate valve) or a valve with a disc that moves through 90 degrees (called a butterfly valve)

The (one-way) check valve should be referred to as exactly that or ball check valve as an alternative.




I understand that this is a subject that divides opinion and people get very emotional about it.

All I can do is share my experience (which I feel is well informed) in the hope that someone that wants to prevent wet sumping will stumble across my posts and decide not to install a one-way check valve which could very easily grenade the engine on their pride and joy.
 
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The spring on those cheap ones are too thick for the job. The Velocette spring is so thin it couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding, it only has to support a large ball bearing, in thick oil, so it doesn't weight the same when held in your hand.
One or 2 people ,in their wisdom have put those cheap ones in upside down!
Re your comment on ball valve , I take your point but we are talking two completely different items here, one is relying on the owner to manually operate it, the other (Velocette) one , once installed operates automatically.
Also the Velo oil pump is a big round thing, and needs to fit smugly into a big hole in the crankcase, to remove it requires a lot of heat on the crankcase to expand it.
FYI the bottom of the Velocette pipe one unbolts below the valve to enable the rider/ owner to prime the pipe insue, and as for those cheap nasty breakable plastic ones with a window that appears to be not impervious to hot engine oil, I wouldn't trust one with a 20 foot barge pole.
I once took my Velocette engine out, left the oil inside the tank for 2 whole weeks, not a drop was spilled. But it will not work if you put it on upside down!!!
I notice you have been wasting your time testing other methods, but not once that I can see above is the RGM, or Velocette ball bearing valve with its .375 inch diameter ball and weak spring tested, can I ask, why not?
There is only one way - the Velocette way!
 
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gtiller

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@Bernhard the first valve pictured is from RGM
It's the only one they sell (they have very recently started selling an inline PCV valve, but that is rated for air only)

I tested the one on the bike when I got it, and an identical replacement one I bought from Roger at RGM - I didn't like it for the reasons I have mentioned already.


Yes - we are indeed talking about different items regarding ball valves.
But Lugwig was correct with his description of ball valve which you picked him up on.
Google ball valve, and you will see the valve in Ludwig's setup.


In terms of 'wasting' my time - you are probably right there.
I 'waste' many hours of my time and energy making stupid diagrams and pictures that most people get no value from, but where I hope to help someone at somepoint.
I also buy and test things out in the workshop, making improvements to our own bikes when something works well, and sharing my experiences where I can.
If I can help just one person, or assist in some way getting a bike back on the road, or saving an engine from going pop then, to me, I feel it is totally worth my while and is a sound investment of time as opposed to a waste.



At this point, I am bowing out from this thread - I feel I have added all the value I can.
But I would finish by reminding you that this is a Norton Commando discussion board and this was a thread where we were discussing ideas, experiences and solutions.
It's not the Velocette Owners Club where the rivet counters dictate that we should fit only what came on the bike from new and frown at anything else.
In my opinion, it's stuffy attitudes like this that are scaring the next generation away from classic bikes - we should embrace change and innovation.
 

YING

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It's a much larger number than the one used to claim impending doom- because the number that all those posts and all that misinformation is based on is zero!

20 years, 4 forums , I honestly don't know how many of these are fitted by now. The tidy little unit sold by Magneto Guys is forever going out of stock. They bring in a batch , those are quickly scooped up and fitted, they bring in another batch and so on.
They are one of half a dozen sources for interlock type manual valves.
So I don't know the number, but it's not hundreds at this point, it will be in the thousands by now.
I recall Iron John stated more than 500 of his units had been fitted, and that was ten years ago.


Glen
I have one of Iron Johns on my bike for over 8 years now and cannot see any drawbacks at all.
 
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@Bernhard the first valve pictured is from RGM
It's the only one they sell (they have very recently started selling an inline PCV valve, but that is rated for air only)

I tested the one on the bike when I got it, and an identical replacement one I bought from Roger at RGM - I didn't like it for the reasons I have mentioned already.


Yes - we are indeed talking about different items regarding ball valves.
But Lugwig was correct with his description of ball valve which you picked him up on.
Google ball valve, and you will see the valve in Ludwig's setup.


In terms of 'wasting' my time - you are probably right there.
I 'waste' many hours of my time and energy making stupid diagrams and pictures that most people get no value from, but where I hope to help someone at somepoint.
I also buy and test things out in the workshop, making improvements to our own bikes when something works well, and sharing my experiences where I can.
If I can help just one person, or assist in some way getting a bike back on the road, or saving an engine from going pop then, to me, I feel it is totally worth my while and is a sound investment of time as opposed to a waste.



At this point, I am bowing out from this thread - I feel I have added all the value I can.
But I would finish by reminding you that this is a Norton Commando discussion board and this was a thread where we were discussing ideas, experiences and solutions.
It's not the Velocette Owners Club where the rivet counters dictate that we should fit only what came on the bike from new and frown at anything else.
In my opinion, it's stuffy attitudes like this that are scaring the next generation away from classic bikes - we should embrace change and innovation.
Fair enough, but there is no need to get so personal! I'm using another marque as an example, theirs is a tried and tested method, which because someone else thought could sell with a practicality useless version has caused a rif between fellow motorcyclists. . . . . .
 

Derek Wilson

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If paranoia is about a non-return valve not opening or a ball valve being forgotten closed, why not install an oil pressure gauge?

One of the first things that I discovered about my bike when I installed my gauge was it didn't have any oil pressure!! Somebody at the factory had neglected to install the plug in the timing cover cross drilling between the main pressure feed and the relief valve. It had cost the original owner the engine early in the bike's life and it was not picked up as an issue in the rebuild. Thankfully, it had not run much between it's rebuild and the time that I installed the gauge.

I have tested the oil pressure in a few of the bikes that have worked on for others over the years, and from time to time, you find one with lack-luster oil pressure, thankfully the ones that I have found were miss-shimmed oil pressure relief valves (no shims at all actually!!), and easily correctable.

I have a Walridge non-return in mine, and watch the oil pressure like a hawk, especially when I first start it. Knock on wood, no issues yet.

My $0.02.
 

NickZ

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Is anyone aware of a resource or reference for reworking an oil pump in order to minimize its contribution to wet sumping? I am about to have the timing cover off and if there is anything I can do while I'm in there to improve wet sumping, I would like to take advantage of that opportunity.
 

p400

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What is the acceptable amount of oil retention in the sump of a Commando?
This amount cant be "drained zero" quantity.

So where is this quantity documented?
 

maylar

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What is the acceptable amount of oil retention in the sump of a Commando?
This amount cant be "drained zero" quantity.

So where is this quantity documented?
I'm pretty sure I've seen reference to "a teacup" worth in the service manual somewhere.
 

Britbike850

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NickZ,
I have a MKIII that wet sumped over night... I tried the usual sanding of the back plate of the oil pump to tighten up the tolerances. My camshaft was the normal soft camshaft in most MKIII and I think the camshaft pieces had made its way through the oil pump and scored the gear set. I bought a new oil pump and had it tested along with the old pump for leakage..big difference. They don’t give those oil pumps away but that fixed the issue. Someone I know mixed the gear sets from old oil pumps until he found a good match...but he was able to test until he got the set that works best.
Hope this helps,
Rod
 

marshg246

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Gtiller your comment shows some understanding of a ball valve, but is uninformed.
One, you only need to prime the oil pipe below the ball valve once. That's how many times hundreds of Velocette owners do it. They only need to glance down to the CLEAR oil pipe to see there is no air in the system.
Ludwig, unless my eyes are deceiving me , you have not got a 3/8 inch diameter ball in your setup.
Yours is not a ball valve , its a on/off tap.
The ball valve is what Velocette use and what RGM sell on their website/ shop.
Also note the above, the oil pipe below the valve should be clear, so you can just glance at it to confirm its OK to start/ run the engine.
Look on the images on the Velo website to see what I mean. I've explained this as clear as I can.
I have no dog in this fight but I need to mention that "ball valve" in the US denotes something quite different than a "shut off valve" (even though it does stop the flow). In the US, ball valves are generally inline valves with a ball connected to a handle and that ball has a hole through it. It's just what Grant said and showed earlier. There are also check valves with balls but they have no handle and may or may not have a spring - the RGM "Automatic Non-Return Valve" as best I can tell is a check valve, not a ball valve (at least in the US). Also, with a ball valve, air in the line means little to nothing as it will be gone almost instantly once the valve is opened and a kick happens. A check valve on the other hand might be an issue with air after it on a BSA or Norton unless the pump produces enough suction to force it open.

No, I've not a fan of anything that restricts the flow of oil to the pump unless it has a 100% reliable interlock; and, 100% reliable is a lot to ask.

My condensate pump for my AC in my house quit working (bearings froze). It was equipped with a safety shutoff switch designed to shut down the AC if the water got too high. That interlock switch was tested and was working when the pump was installed. That interlock switch didn't work when it counted - the float was clogged with lint. Many gallons of water flowed all over my utility room in the week between doing loads of laundry. What a mess because the interlock didn't work.
 

lazyeye6

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I have no dog in this fight but I need to mention that "ball valve" in the US denotes something quite different than a "shut off valve" (even though it does stop the flow). In the US, ball valves are generally inline valves with a ball connected to a handle and that ball has a hole through it. It's just what Grant said and showed earlier. There are also check valves with balls but they have no handle and may or may not have a spring - the RGM "Automatic Non-Return Valve" as best I can tell is a check valve, not a ball valve (at least in the US). Also, with a ball valve, air in the line means little to nothing as it will be gone almost instantly once the valve is opened and a kick happens. A check valve on the other hand might be an issue with air after it on a BSA or Norton unless the pump produces enough suction to force it open.

No, I've not a fan of anything that restricts the flow of oil to the pump unless it has a 100% reliable interlock; and, 100% reliable is a lot to ask.

My condensate pump for my AC in my house quit working (bearings froze). It was equipped with a safety shutoff switch designed to shut down the AC if the water got too high. That interlock switch was tested and was working when the pump was installed. That interlock switch didn't work when it counted - the float was clogged with lint. Many gallons of water flowed all over my utility room in the week between doing loads of laundry. What a mess because the interlock didn't work.
I agree with 95% of what you state. But when inferring that an interlock must have 100% reliability to be of value suggests that all other components
of a Norton lubrication system must also be 100%. Do you include the $1.30 oil pump seal? How about the oil pressure relief valve? An interlock can
be tested every day by simply turning the valve off while the engine is running. Can the oil pump seal be tested at all? Sure, with a steady eye on an
oil pressure gauge. Think of the Challenger. In mechanical systems there are no 100% absolutes. There ARE 99% fail safe systems. There will always
be an abnormality. Can anyone actually cite an interlink oil valve that failed?
 

marshg246

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I agree with 95% of what you state. But when inferring that an interlock must have 100% reliability to be of value suggests that all other components
of a Norton lubrication system must also be 100%. Do you include the $1.30 oil pump seal? How about the oil pressure relief valve? An interlock can
be tested every day by simply turning the valve off while the engine is running. Can the oil pump seal be tested at all? Sure, with a steady eye on an
oil pressure gauge. Think of the Challenger. In mechanical systems there are no 100% absolutes. There ARE 99% fail safe systems. There will always
be an abnormality. Can anyone actually cite an interlink oil valve that failed?
Of course not - 100% reliability is silly. The first part of the sentence is the important part. I thought I made it clear at the end of the sentence that 100% is silly - I guess in trying to be lighthearted I wasn't clear.
 
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